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New Government Safety Data Initiative Promises Insight into Nation's Public Safety Activities

The White House Office of Science and Technology has launched Safety.Data.Gov, a new government initiative that aims to provide better access to federal safety data and foster innovative ideas that could impact public safety.

In a May 16 blog post, OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels explained that OSHA, along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, helped launch the new site as part of Transportation Safety Week. He lauded the initiative for allowing OSHA to "team up with some of the most visionary and passionate minds in the country on solutions that will ultimately save workers' lives."

"Safety.Data.Gov provides citizens, industry representatives, advocates, researchers and entrepreneurs with tools to create innovative solutions that will enhance public safety in communities around the country," Michaels wrote. "A series of other initiatives are also being released, spurring the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people to help better inform and protect our citizens."

Safety.Data.Gov features apps, resources, blogs, forums and data covering crime, roadway safety and workplace safety. The site also will host challenges and offer prizes, all to "encourage the application of public safety data in meaningful ways."

For example, the Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award promises a grand prize of $15,000 to the developer of an app that helps demonstrate the importance of knowing about workplace safety and/or assisting young people in understanding their workplace rights, according to Michaels. The grand-prize winner also will have the chance to attend a meet-and-greet with Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

"At OSHA, we are always looking for better and more efficient ways to ensure all workers know about their lawful right to a safe and healthful workplace. The increasing use of technology by the federal government to open this process to the public’s talents and the indelible civic spirit across the country is one terrific way for us to find those solutions," Michaels added in his blog post. "I’m eager to see what the products look like this time, and I welcome everyone who chooses to participate. Together, we are engaged an effort to achieve no less vital a goal than saving the lives of young people."

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